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TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

shoulders (but avoiding her face), in the glass.
And then, while the children rummaged among
her things, she looked out of the window at a sight
which always amused her—the rooks trying to
decide which tree to settle on. Every time, they
seemed to change their minds and rose up into
the air again, because, she thought, the old rook,
the father rook, old Joseph was her name for him,
was a bird of a very trying and difficult disposition.
He was a disreputable old bird, with half his wing
feathers missing. He was like some seedy old
gentleman in a top hat she had seen playing the
horn in front of a public house,

"Lookl" she said, laughing. They were
actually fighting. Joseph and Mary were fighting.
Anyhow they all went up again, and the air was
shoved aside by their black wings and cut into
> exquisite scimitar shapes. The movement of the
wings beating out, out, out—she could never
describe it accurately enough to please herself—
was one of the loveliest of all to her. Look at
that, she said to Rose, hoping that Rose would
see it more clearly than she could. For one's
children so often gave one's own perceptions a
little thrust forwards.

But which was it to be? They had all the
trays of her jewel-case open. The gold necklace,
which was Italian, or the opal necklace, which
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